glossy buckthorn Rhamnaceae Frangula alnus Mill. Listen to the Latin symbol: FRAL4 Other Fact Sheets
Leaf: Alternate, simple, elliptical to oblong or obovate, 2 to 4 inches long, entire, veins are parallel but near edges of leaf turn and follow the edge, shiny green above, may be pale pubescent beneath, petiole short and pubescent.
Flower: Very small and inconspicuous, pale yellow-green, bell-shaped, appearing in leaf axils in late spring after the leaves.
Fruit: A small (1/4 inch) round drupe at first red but later turning black, juicy flesh, ripens in late summer.
Twig: Slender, reddish brown with gray pubescence; buds naked and tan with fuzz; 3 bundle scars, lacking thorns.
Bark: Smooth gray-brown with a few obvious slightly raised lenticels, may become shallowly fissured on larger stems.
Form: Upright shrub or small tree (to 20 feet) with a spreading, open crown.

Looks like: Carolina buckthorn - common buckthorn - mountain holly
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information:
Frangula alnus is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting glossy buckthorn.
External Links:
USDA Plants Database
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Photos and text by: John Seiler,
Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera,
and John Peterson
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